Carlsbad Real Estate News and Views: Do You Record Your Own Voice Mail Messages?

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Do You Record Your Own Voice Mail Messages?

Do You Record Your Own Voice Mail Messages?


I’ve often wondered why some people don’t record their own voice mail messages, especially in our business. It just strikes me as odd. But maybe that’s just me.


Do YOU record your own voice mail?I’ve called 2 agents in the last day for appointments and it was clear it was not them in the recording, not just from the voice (a female voice for a make agent in one case) but also the message itself – “so and so is not available but if you will leave her a message…”


Is it laziness?


Is it wanting to sound more important by having an assistant or office reception record the message?


Could it be company practice for the brokerage office?


Is it because they can’t figure out what to say or how to do it?


Do they not like the sound of their voice?


Then there are those who don’t state whose voice mail it is that you’ve reached, but just ask you to leave a message. Hellooooo – who IS this I am talking to??!!


Not very businesslike or helpful, IMO. But again, maybe it’s just a personal pet peeve. But given our business is US...


Any thoughts on voice mail (apart from those that have them but don’t return those messages)?


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Comment balloon 72 commentsJeff Dowler CRS • April 08 2012 08:28AM


I agree with you. Good point.

Posted by Lori Bowers, The Lori Bowers Group over 3 years ago

Jeff ~ I think authenticity is the best way to relate to anyone. The generic or robotic voices I've heard on other agents voicemail, often makes me wonder if they are actually the one getting the message.

Posted by Jon Eliason ~ Independent ~ REALTOR®, Jon Eliason (Independent Broker Pagosa Springs, Colorado) over 3 years ago

It bugs me to hear the default message that only states the number you've dialed.  And please leave your kids and pets off of your business line - that's my other pet peeve.

Posted by Ron Cooks, Texas Real Estate, Ft Hood/Killeen Homes for Sale (Options Realty Group / Credit Consultant) over 3 years ago

I hear both but always do my own. I have a friend who is a broker with a larger team and his recording is left by his assistant with a great british accent that sounds very professional and fits his Beverly Hills market. It's a personal choice.

Posted by David Grbich, Orange County Real Estate - 949-500-0484 (Realty One Group - over 3 years ago

It drives me crazy Jeff..i never know if i have the right number...learn to use your phone i say...Happy Easter!

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (Phillips Post Road Realty ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) over 3 years ago

I agree.  They are missing out big time.  I'm sure it hurts their credibility and ability to cnnect, and hence fewer clients.  And, I bet they don't even realize.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl - Westchester hardwood flooring (Floor Coverings International - Westchester NY & Lower Fairfield CT) over 3 years ago

It's a pet peeve shared by most of us...a personal (authentic) voice is an essential, and always say who the recipient of your call is!

Posted by Li Read, Caring expertise...knowledge for you! (Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring)) over 3 years ago

Jeff, sometimes I have to ask if they've really listened to their VM announcement.  I like them to be as concise as possible.  A redo is in order according to the comments here! 

Posted by Kevin J. May, Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida (Florida Supreme Realty) over 3 years ago

I don't like the sound of my voice on voicemail, but after much chiding I finally did it.  Besides, the generic voicemails end up with a message like I'm leaving this message for so and so because they don't really know if it's you or not.

Posted by Morris Massre, Realtor Broward County Florida (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services ) over 3 years ago

Jeff- yep... I prefer the real thing and another pet peeve... "I'll call you back at my earliest convenience."

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 3 years ago

And to take the voice mail to the next level: if you are saying in your voice "please leave me a message", then turn off the automatic computer lady that tells me "please leave a message after the tone or press 1 to leave a message or whatever ...". I like a personal, upbeat greeting without computer instructions that I don't have to listen 30 min. before I can start recording!

Posted by Tanja Cisliek (Future Home Realty) over 3 years ago

When you call me that's my voice on the other line.  @ Tanya I also get annoyed by the long auto message....make it sweet and simple. 

Posted by Paula McDonald, CHEVAUX Group ~ The Woodlands, TX 936-203-0279 (Chevaux Group, PLLC) over 3 years ago

Or what about the people who do not record anything? Talk about a missed opportunity.

Posted by Melissa Zavala, Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County (Broadpoint Properties) over 3 years ago

Jeff - I prefer personalized voice messages.   Of course, mine is extra long, so what can I say?

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) over 3 years ago

I record my own voice and love hearing other agents voice recordings because it tells A LOT about them!

Posted by LaNita Cates (REMAX of Joliet) over 3 years ago

I agree -but I better check my own voicemail since I can't remember doing it :)

While we're venting - what about the agent that just answsers "Hello."  If my husband has to answer my cell because I can't, then "Hello" is okay.  But if you are an agent and don't answer with your name, that bugs me.

Posted by Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate (Baird & Warner Real Estate) over 3 years ago

Jeff,  I record my own messages and I answer my phones.  I think you nailed the many reasons why some agents don't. It strikes me as odd as well.  Can you image calling a doctor's office, accountant's office, or dental office with their phones being answered in such a manner? I think I would hang up and call another "professional" that has a handle on phone etiquette! If that's the first impression I would not want to be in a transaction with that agent!

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, San Jose Homes for Sale - Probate Specialist (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) over 3 years ago

It doesn't bother me at all that people don't record their own voice messages. The only thing that does bother me is that they don't identify themselves so that I know that I've got the right person and the right number.

Posted by Charita Cadenhead, Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama) (Keller Williams Realty) over 3 years ago

One should their own voice message.... Once I got one that said something like this....   My mommy can't get to the phone right now.... But if you leave her a message she will call you back later.

Posted by Roland Woodworth, Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource- SFR - Clarksv (Keller Williams Realty) over 3 years ago

I do not know the exact reason why people do not record their own voicemails, perhaps they want to make others know that they have secretary, assistants or receptionist to answer their phone for them? I think it may work better if one record their own voice mail to be more personable.

Posted by Eileen Hsu, LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) over 3 years ago

Before Don Lafontaine (the movie announcer guy) passed away, he used to do voicemail messages for people in his spare time.


As long as the name of the person is in the message so I know if I got a wrong number or not is there, I really don't care who recorded it. 

Posted by Nic Winder over 3 years ago

I've never thought about having someone else record my message.  The thing I hate the most though is when the message does not identify who I've reached....I like to make sure I have not dialed the wrong number.

Posted by Christine Smith, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA (Buyers Brokers Only LLC - over 3 years ago

I haven't come across much of this myself. Mel and I have always recorded our own messages and always intent to. I guess I wouldn't especially mind if someone else hasn't recorded their own, as long as they identify who I have reached.


Posted by Gretchen & Mel Ahrens ( over 3 years ago

I have a client who managed to erase his automated message and for the life of himself he couldn't record a voice mail message at all. Here in Sacramento it is customary for buyer's agents to call the seller directly to either make an appointment or let the seller know when they plan to show. Agents weren't leaving messages for this seller because they didn't know if they had actually reached his voice mail. I had to insert a message into MLS that let agents know there was no message on v/m and to wait for the beep before they began talking.

But I'm with you. Agents should record a personal message. We are in the people business.

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (Lyon Real Estate) over 3 years ago

I agree, Agents should record their own personal voicemails. I dislike calling and not knowing if I called the right number becasue the name of the person is never said. I also cannot stand when there is just a beep, not even the number can be verified. 

Posted by Dominique Britton, Experience the Difference in Real Estate Services ( Realty LLC - 678.250.5022) over 3 years ago

Lori - I suspect a few others do too.

Jon - well it does make you wonder. And I think somepeople do, unfortunately, come away from a voice mail with a negative impression.

Ron - well I haven't heard those from any agents but some other voice mail recordings can be kinda obnoxious, IMO

Ginny - agreed. I always ask who the person is to make sure. Hope you had a wonderful Easter and didn't overindulge on chocolate (if that's even possible).


Posted by Jeff Dowler CRS, Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360 (Solutions Real Estate ) over 3 years ago

Jeff - I'm still trying to get people to comment on other's posts for me, let alone record a message for me on my own voice mail ;)

Posted by Jason Sardi, Your Agent for Life (Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina) over 3 years ago

Hi Jeff - I have always recorded my own voicemail.  It is very effective.

Posted by Marc Swartz, CPA, CA, Real Estate Broker, Toronto, Durham & York Regions, Ontario, Canada (RE/MAX Vision Realty Inc., Brokerage, Direct: (416) 737-9800, Office: (416) 321-2228) over 3 years ago

David - I can see how that might be pretty effective.

Debbie - it is certainly a good possibility. Why run the risk?

Li - it certainly feels more authentic to me.

Kevin - I doubt some ever listen to their recording...but should.

Morris - I suspect there are others who feel the same about their voices. But it's you so why not be real on the phone?


Posted by Jeff Dowler CRS, Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360 (Solutions Real Estate ) over 3 years ago

Jeff, lazy is putting it mildly.  It leaves you wondering, if they can't take the time to record a message, what else don't they have time for?

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages Connecticut) over 3 years ago


Makes no sense to me either.  I use one phone - if you want to reach me, it's the only place to call and leave a message.  I try to answer, but if I cannot, I try to return the call/message quickly. 

All the best, Michelle

Posted by Michelle Francis, Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease (Tim Francis Realty LLC) over 3 years ago
I record my own message, but my husband had our assistant record his because he says he can do nothing but newer his phone and make call. I think most messages should be self recorded, but certainly am not bothered when I call someone that as used someone else.
Posted by Joy Daniels (Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd.) over 3 years ago

Jeff -- I'm with you on this one.  I want my clients to know I care about them, their call is important ... and I want them to hear that from me!

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 3 years ago

Kathy - well at least if they DON'T call back. I love when you hear "you call is very important..." or "I'll return calls between..." and it doesn't happen.

Tanja - amen!


Posted by Jeff Dowler CRS, Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360 (Solutions Real Estate ) over 3 years ago

Jeff, no!  They won Carl Kassel's voice on their answering machine on the weekly news quiz, "Wait!  Wait!  Don't Tell Me!"

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, For Your Home in the Capital (Evers & Company Real Estate, Inc.) over 3 years ago

Paula - yep those LONG messages get tedious

Melissa - those certainly are helpful, aren't they?

Christine - Can't say I've heard it. LOL  Hopefully not TOO long.

LaNita - I agree - you do gain a first impression from someone voice mail.


Posted by Jeff Dowler CRS, Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360 (Solutions Real Estate ) over 3 years ago

The robot with "please leave a message" makes me wonder if I mis dialed.

Posted by Rob D. Shepherd, Principal Broker ABR, GRI (Coldwell Banker Coast) over 3 years ago

Hey Jeff,

I do like to record my own voicemail greetings, and I have received compliments about the greeting for my brokerage.  All part of the branding.  Best of success to you this year!

Posted by Jordon Wheeler, J W Group Real Estate Sales and Service (The Jordon Wheeler Group) over 3 years ago

How can we expect to deliver personalized service to our clients, if we can't even take the time to personalize our voice message greeting?

Kind of like the agent that can't keep a single active working phone number.

Good post, thanks for sharing it.

Posted by Anthony Daniels, SF Bay Area REO Specialist (Coldwell Banker) over 3 years ago

Actually I always wanted my voicemail greeting- and my GPS- to sound exactly like Paul Lynde. 

Posted by J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner (J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY) over 3 years ago

Hi Jeff--if there was one place I would want to hear a personal message it would be on the voice mail of a Realtor.  Otherwise, I might think they were too busy to attend to me if they delegate recording voice mail messages to someone else. 

Posted by Janet Jones, Home Staging, Interior Redesign Kihei, Maui, Hawaii (Just Your Style Interiors, LLC) over 3 years ago

It makes no difference to me whether they have their own voice or someone else's whether it is their personal telephone or business one. I just would like people to return phone calls.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) over 3 years ago

First impressions are important and if you're calling a male agent and a female "answers" on vm, then you're already off on the wrong foot. I think recording your own message is extremely important. As Paula said keep it short and simple, and also try to have a smile in your wouldn't approach someone in person who looked mad, angry, depressed, so make sure the caller's first phone call "approach" is greeted warmly thru your vm greeting/message.

Posted by Charlie Dresen, Steamboat Springs, CO e-Pro (Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty) over 3 years ago

I think I agree with Gita. .it doesn't matter if the voice of Caligula answered. . I just need a returned phone call soon.

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) over 3 years ago

I think it's funny that some of you are calling it lazy.  My wife and I are a team, and I had her do the voicemail recording on both of our phones last year.  She has a much better speaking voice than I do.  I haven't had any complaints and certainly hadn't been called lazy...  until now.  That's okay though.  To each his own.  

Posted by Amanda and Jared Christiansen, F.C. Tucker/Malcom & Schlueter, Realtors (Malcom & Schlueter, Realtors (260)704-0843) over 3 years ago

Jeff, I agree with you.  Record your own greeting, unless you have a speech problem. Of course, any recording is better than the service provider's "computer lady" repeating the phone number and instructing to leave a message.

Posted by John R. Wuertz (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Fox and Roach, Realtors) over 3 years ago

If I hear a default message, it makes me question whether I dialed the right number.  This is especially true when I'm multi-tasking, so I end up dialing the number again.   

Posted by Elyse Berman, PA, ABR, GRI, Realtor, Boca Raton, Florida 561-716-7824 (Realty Associates Florida Properties, Boca Raton, FL) over 3 years ago

Hi Jeff,

I agree with you too.  I think in our business we need to be more personal and our voice is important. 

Posted by Cindy Edwards, CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677 (RE/MAX Checkmate) over 3 years ago

For about the last month, I have been trying to get in the habit of recording a new message every morning.  I think it's an effective thing to do and it shows a diligence about being up to date and present.  It's also not the easiest hook to set.  Somedays I don't realize I've left yesterday's message until noon...


Posted by Rob Spinosa, Marin Mortgage Broker (RPM Mortgage, Marin County, CA) over 3 years ago

I can not imagine why a real estate agent would not record their own message. I do know some folks who hate messages and never set their up. They also do not listen to their messages. But hey, they are not using their cell phone for business. 

Posted by Joni Staples, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Anderson Properties) over 3 years ago

A professional voice is what matters to cutesy stuff, no long messages and of course I want to be called back right away....Real Estate is $$$..make it fun, but keep it high class

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 3 years ago

I chalk it up to being either too lazy or too stupid to work their phone properly.  In either case, it lowers my expectations for interacting with that person.  I record my own message and keep it professional every time.

Posted by Bryan Robertson, Broker, Author, Speaker (Catarra Real Estate, Inc) over 3 years ago

Jeff - In the real estate business (as you mentioned), we ARE our own brand, so it has always struck me as odd when I reach a voice mail that is either generic or recorded by someone else. I don't get it. 

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) over 3 years ago

It takes so little time and you can do it over and over until you get it right. It makes me feel like someone doesn't care enough about their calls if their voice is not the greeting.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty, Your Clarksville Real Estate Professional, 931-920-6730) over 3 years ago

Hi Jeff, don't understand it. I try to say my name first off in the message, so that if it is a wroing number, they know it right away.

Posted by Sandy Acevedo, RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale (951-290-8588) over 3 years ago


My feeling is the sooner clients can get familiar and comfortable with my voice, the better.

Great post!


Posted by Kevin Guttman 877-251-9709, Top Home Loan Advisor (Fairway Mortgage Corp.) over 3 years ago

Maybe they can't figure out how to work their phone? I record my own voicemail and appreciate it when I call another agent if they say who they are so that I'm sure I have the right number.

Posted by Maria Morton, Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758 (BHG Real Estate - Kansas City Homes) over 3 years ago
There is an agent in our market who doesn't record her own vmail but I think it is because of her age and she doesn't know how too.
Posted by Dale Samples, REALTOR -Homes for Sale Charleston, West Virgini (304.741.4705 • ) over 3 years ago

I guess we all have different ideas on how to run our business.  I have always used my voice on my cell phone.  For my company business phone I have used different types of messages.  I need to revisit this again. 

Posted by JO SOSS, Kitsap County WA Real Estate - HOMEFRONT Realty (HOMEFRONT Realty) over 3 years ago

I love the Looonnnnngggg message that ends with "Next time, push the # key to bypass this message" Like next time I'm going to remember what button to push to by pass your way too long message

Posted by Jim Cheney, Rincon Valley Realtor (Saint Francis Property Santa Rosa, CA) over 3 years ago

Hi Jeff,

Great point and something I was just thinking about the other day. I use "YouMail", which is a free service. I never recorded my own message because YouMail has a personalized outgoing message which says, "Hello (callers name according to caller ID) Gina is not available right now, please leave a message." However, I was recently considering changing it and recording my own message and you just gave me the kick in the butt that I needed ; )

Hope you had a great Easter & enjoyed our awesome So Cal weather,


Posted by Gina Lemos, Orange County CA Real Estate Agent (North Orange County CA Real Estate Specialists) over 3 years ago

Jeff, I think they think they are too important to leave their own voice mail message. What's even worse than than is their assistant isn't answering the phone either.

Posted by Tammie White, Franklin Homes Realty, Franklin TN ((615) 495-0752 or over 3 years ago

I record my own and prefer it that way.  I to update it also.

Posted by Pamela Smith, Sun City West, Corte Bella, Sun City Grand (Long Realty West Valley) over 3 years ago

I don't really even think about it when I hear one of those, I just leave a VM and if I don't hear back I just call again.  But now thanks to this post it will pop into my head everytime!

Posted by Arthur Wainio, CDPE, CIAS (HomeSmart) over 3 years ago

Jeff, I think you hit a point where a lot of people don't like the sound of their voice. Many people are surprised at what their voice sounds like when they record it.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 3 years ago

I find that often it's because of a heavy accent. Perhaps they fear prejudice, or maybe just want it to be clear?

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) over 3 years ago

Margaret - it bugs me, too. It just dseems more professional to answer your business line with your name. Maybe becuase so many use their cell for personal calls? IDK

Kathleen - no real reason FOR it to be any different than another professional businessperson.

Charita - I certainly agree on your second point. For some reason I am bothered by VMs recorded by someone one, perhaps becuase it is so unusual.

Roland - yeah, I have had similar ones. Guess they thinks it's cute. Aat home, perhaps, but not sure for the business line/cell.


Posted by Jeff Dowler CRS, Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360 (Solutions Real Estate ) over 3 years ago

I agree with you Jeff.  It should be personalized but business like.  No kids, pets, music etc.   And check it once in a while and don't let your mail box fill up!!  Good post.


Posted by Jim Patton, Realtor - Stanislaus & Merced county Realtor. (Century 21 M&M - 209-404-0816) over 3 years ago

I used to work at a commercial company in a corporate setting. They insisted that my secretary record my message. I hated it. They had several impersonal policies, but that was the culture of corporate commercial. I think some think it sounds more professional.

I think of my voicemail as a marketing tool so to be professional is just a no brainer.  Raise the bar.

Posted by Cathy Bureau, Your Personal Real Estate Concierge ( over 3 years ago
Jeff, now that is just bizarre. it goes right along withi the agents who do not identify themselves when they call you back or answer their phone. Sharon
Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) over 3 years ago

I've had to experience an agent's VM that had her dog barking in the background.  I have to say my immediate reaction was jealousy, that she nonchalantly recorded her message once and never bothered to check it - while I spend 30 min deleting and recording till I get it right.  I think that dog would get on my nerves if I had to call her more than once.

Posted by Ellie Penaranda, Naples Florida Real Estate - Waterfront & Beach Co (239.776.5077 Downing-Frye Realty ) over 3 years ago

The ones that amaze me are the ones that don't have a voice mail at all, just a "You've called 503-###-####, please leave your message"


Posted by The Friendly Home Team, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Realty Pro Oregon, LLC) over 3 years ago